Sparrow

IMG_7757I guess I could caption the above picture: “There’s a bird in there somewhere, under all that fluff.” It also represents the end of a little drama.

Some days ago, a house sparrow was claiming a bit of our neighbor’s gutter for nesting.

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Along came a mourning dove who was interested in the same spot.

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Here are the lovely feathers of a mourning dove, seen from below.

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There was a dustup, and the sparrow, not a third the size of the mourning dove, drove it off. Shows why house sparrows were able to spread throughout this country after being introduced in 1850–they are aggressive. So the poor mourning dove will have to gather its little pile of sticks for its nest elsewhere.

IMG_7745Not the greatest picture, but it does show the rich complexity of house sparrow feathers.

Meanwhile, I have found a good, low sugar chocolate chip cookie. It’s from a book called Paleo on a Budget* by Elizabeth McGaw. I have made a few changes. I have to say that a low sugar chocolate chip cookie is nothing like the melt-in-the-mouth sugary tenderness of your usual chocolate chip cookie. It’s chewier (in a good way), but the little addition of some butter lets the cookie brown at the edges and sizzle, and all in all, this is an awfully good cookie–just not like what you may be used to.

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Mixed Berry Chocolate Chip Cookie

Makes 6 large cookies

IMG_77683 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup almond flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup dried mixed berries or dried cherries
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, almond flour, beaten eggs, cinnamon, salt honey and vanilla. Stir together until thoroughly combined. Then add the berries and semisweet chocolate chips. Let the batter sit while you tidy up and get out a 1/4-cup ice cream scoop. Scoop out and level the batter, and deposit scoops of the batter onto the parchment paper. With a moistened finger, pat the cookies down until they are about 1/4-inch in thickness. They will not spread much. Bake for about 11 to 12 minutes, or until the edges brown and sizzle. Allow to cool before removing from the pan.

Baking notes: I used Dried Mixed Berries from Aldis, which is a mixture of cranberries, cherries and blueberries. There is sugar used in the berry processing, but that sugar and the teaspoon of honey is all the sweetening in the cookie, which “reads” as amazingly sweet. I used finely ground almond meal. There’s a bit of disagreement on the Internet as to whether almond meal and almond flour are the same thing, but as long as your almond meal is finely ground and fluffy, it will work here. McGaw used raisins instead of berries, and made her cookies smaller.

* I’ve really enjoy using Paleo on a Budget, and recommend it. Don’t let the word “paleo” scare you off. If you are interested in eating low carb, this book has ingenious, easy recipes with nice flavor twists.  I was using a copy from the library, but finally broke down and bought my own. McGaw’s website is also worth a visit.

Meanwhile, there is a pitched battle going on between Spring and Winter, as the days seesaw back and forth between freezing and not quite freezing. My money is on Spring, but meanwhile, it’s pretty cold! Here are some daffodils to warm us up. Namaste. Fran

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3 thoughts on “Sparrow

  1. Hello, Paula–I love Larry, and will have to think of a name for our sparrow. And we do have a large horse chestnut tree, so we have room for more bird houses. Your drawings are beautiful! Take care. Fran

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